With many Australians already living in smaller houses, the question of what to do with the space is one of the biggest issues in the country.
But there is no shortage of ideas out there for how to make living in your own home more attractive and enjoyable.
The ABC spoke to some of the most creative home builders, builders and designers in the nation.
With an estimated 7,000 Australian homes, it’s no surprise that they are passionate about the way they can make their homes more beautiful and more affordable.
But what if you didn’t have the time to build the perfect house?
What if you wanted to live in a more eco-friendly way?
This is where you come in, says Australian builder &l Building Materials.
The company specializes in building and renovating modern and classic houses.
In 2016 they launched a new line of ‘modern-style’ housebuilding materials called waterproof building materials.
They are made from water-resistant and waterproof concrete and glass.
These are not only more affordable, but more durable, meaning they will last longer.
They can also be used to build a house on a lower floor, and are easier to work with.
“If you’re looking to live within walking distance, you’ll be able to get the materials for the roof and the roof deck,” says &l. “You’ll be better off using these than using concrete or steel.”
The company also recommends using waterproof building chemicals that can be found in most home improvement stores.
They come in a range of colours, colours that match different homes and homes designs.
“They’re also very environmentally friendly,” says co-founder &l Co-founder of &l, Michael Hutton, adding they are able to make a product that is both durable and easy to use.
“You just need to be careful about how you apply them.”
“If the colour you’re using is a grey one, it means it’s going to be waterproof, so if you’re building a house that’s grey, then it will be able a better seal.”
The range of materials includes waterproof concrete, waterproof glass and waterproof steel.
These building materials are more expensive than regular concrete but offer higher resilience to rain, floods and fires.
“We use them to make the walls and the ceiling stronger and to the ceiling to protect the roof from being eroded,” says Co-Founder &l Hutton.
“We have to apply the material as thin as possible to get that strength.”
The main advantage is that they have a higher water absorption than regular cement and it also takes less time to dry.
They’re sold in a variety of colours and sizes, including a grey option and a lighter grey option.
The brand also sells waterproof concrete tiles and waterproof glass tiles.
The range includes materials that are suitable for the average home, such as waterproof concrete.
It’s also important to note that the water-repellent materials are very flexible.
“The material will be strong if you apply it to a space where there’s no structural support, for example, to the roof of a house,” explains &l co-founders Hutton and Michael.
“If you put it on the roof, it can be used for a lot of different things.”
What is waterproof building?
The word ‘waterproof’ doesn’t usually come to mind when it comes to building materials in Australia.
However, the term ‘water resistant’ is actually a misnomer.
It refers to the fact that the building materials don’t absorb water.
“Water is actually very strong when it’s wet,” says Michael.
“And you’ll want to be very careful about putting it in a place where you can’t get water inside the house.”
This is because water is corrosive and when it rains it will cause the concrete to rust and damage the building.
This is why you need to treat the building material thoroughly with a solvent to prevent corrosion and rust.
“I don’t know why it’s called ‘water-repelling’ in Australia,” says Hutton of the water resistant materials.
“There are lots of people who don’t understand that.”
The reason why water-absorbing materials are often called ‘repellents’ is because they have properties that allow them to absorb water and keep it from evaporating.
“It’s actually actually quite simple,” says Mr Hutton: “The water-conductive properties of the material will absorb water when it dries and hold it until it’s cool enough to evaporate.”
The most common use for these materials is in walls and ceilings, but there are other uses as well.
“A lot of people say it’s good to add a little moisture, to add some humidity to the room to help with the evaporation,” says Andrés Caminetti, who is a co-creator of the waterproof building building materials line.
“But it’s also a good idea to use it in the kitchen as well